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The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the 1 Thess. voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, &c. iv, 16--18. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. 2 Thess. i, 10.
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, &c. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. xxi, 3, 4.
Even so, come Lord Jesus. Rev. xxii, 20.
Collect, Good Friday.-Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word.
Burial Service. That it may please thee, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory,
On the Lord's Prayer. No. 5.
ON THE THIRD PETITION.
What is the third petition?
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
This petition seems to include the two former, for, as far as God's name is hallowed, and his kingdom established, so far is his will done.
What is the will of God?
The will of God is either secret or revealed. With that part of the will of God which he has thought proper to keep secret, we have nothing to do.
Seeret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deut. xxix, 29.
Not angels, that stand round the Lord,
The revealed will of God is, that sinners should be saved through faith in Christ Jesus, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and that his name should be glorified by all his creatures, and in all his works.
It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. Matt. xviii, 14,
This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which secth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life. John vi, 40.
This is the will of God, even your sanctification. 1 Thess. iv, 3.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake: for so is the will of God. 1 Pet. ii, 13-15.
The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet. iii, 9.
How is the will of God made known to us?
We may in some measure know it, from the works of his Providence; but it is more clearly revealed to us by the Holy Scriptures. Conscience also informs us of it, for St. Paul says,
Even the Gentiles shew the work of the law, (which is the will of God) written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. ii, 14, 15.
If any man will do his will, he shall know, &c. John vii, 17.
The Lord's voice crieth unto the city; hear ye the rod, and who bath appointed it. Micah vi, 9.
He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons. Acts xiv, 17.
The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made. Rom. i, 20. The law is holy, and the commandmeut holy, and just, and good.— For we know that the law is spiritual. Rom. vii, 12, 14.
Should not those who offer up this petition, be careful to live according to its meaning?
1. They should believe and obey what God's holy word declares and requires.
I delight to do thy will, O God. Ps. xl, 8.
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Ps. cxix, 32.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Ps. cxix, 34.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, &c, Matt. vii, 21.
Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and
my sister, and mother. Mark iii, 35.
My meat is to do the will of him that sent me. John iv, 34.
God's will must be preferred to our own, or that of others, and we should remember, that wicked men are represented as doing the will of the devil.
Taken captive by him at his will. 2 Tim. ii, 26.
2. They should be thankful for all their mercies. Giving thanks always for all things. Eph. v, 20.
In every thing give thanks. 1 Thess. v, 18. (See also p. 122.) We should remember, that when St. Paul describes the unconverted Gentiles, he adds, (Rom. i, 21.) Neither were they thankful; and (2 Tim. iii, 2.) The unthankful are coupled with the unholy.
3. They should submit to his will with patience, in the heaviest afflictions.
When Nadab and Abihu were struck dead for offering strange fire, Aaron, their father, held his peace. Lev. x, 1-3.
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it. Ps. xxxix, 9.
Remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. Matt. xxvi, 39-42; Luke xxii, 42.
The will of the Lord be done. Acts xxi, 14.-(See also page 118.)
How are we to do the will of God, so far as it is known to us? As it is done in heaven by the holy angels.
The host of heaven worshippeth thee. Neh. ix, 6.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Heb. i, 14.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and fell on their faces, and worshipped God, &c. Rev. vii, 11.
Though true Christians cannot equal the angels in the perfection of their obedience, yet they may, through grace, imitate, and, in some degree, resemble them. A still more exalted pattern is held forth to our imitation. As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 1 Pet. i, 15.
Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps, who did no sin. 1 Pet ii, 21, 22.
In what manner do the angels perform the will of God? They are constantly engaged in doing it; and instead of feeling any reluctance towards painful employments, they are represented as serving God,
They do his commandments, harkening unto the voice of his word. Ps. ciii, 20.
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. Ps. civ, 4. 3. With quickness and readiness.
Each one had six wings, with twain he did fly. Isa. vi, 2.
Every one had four wings: every one went straight forward; they ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. Ezek. i, 4-14.
The four and twenty elders fall down before him and, cast their crowns before the throne. Rev. iv, 10.
They serve him day and night in his temple. Rev. vii, 15.
If two angels came down from heaven to execute a divine command, and one was appointed to conduct an empire, and the other to fill the lowest station in it, they would feel no inclination to exchange employments.
That which we do here from duty, we shall do in heaven from inclination. Our nature, which is now prone to depart from God, will then be conformed to his; and instead of doing his will reluctantly, we shall feel his service a perfect delight. Not a wrong thought will enter our minds, nor an improper desire arise in our hearts; much less shall we be led to do any thing contrary to the purity and holiness of the divine nature.
Have you thus done the will of God? If you answer this question according to the dictates of your conscience, must you not be compelled to acknowledge, that you have come very far short of it, and that you have rather followed the devices and desires of your own heart, than either done, or attempted to do, the will of God on earth, as angels do in heaven! With how much fervour and sincerity ought you then to offer up this petition; how diligently ought you to inquire, on all occasions, what is the will of God; and what is the line of conduct which will be most pleasing to him ;-and how watchful ought you to be over your corrupt inclinations, lest they lead you out of the path in which he has directed you to walk!
David is honourably distinguished for his conduct in this respect:
David, a man after mine heart, shall fulfil all my will. Acts xiii, 22. Endeavour to imitate him. Do not be content with
praying daily, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven:" nor even with desiring, however fervently, that this may be the case. Activity becomes a Christian. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor. vii, 1.
May the God of peace-make you perfect in every good work to do his will. Heb. xiii, 21.
If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. 1 John v, 14.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life. Rev. xxii, 14.
Do not cease to pray, Teach me to do thy will, (Ps. cxliii, 10.) and desire that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will, (Col. i, 9,) so as both to love it and do it.
People may be zealous for God's will being done by others, who have no heart to do it themselves.
20th Sunday after Trinity.-Grant that we may cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done.
Collect for Circumcision.-Grant that we may in all things obey thy blessed will.
What is the fourth petition?
Give us this day our daily bread.
You said, that the three first petitions respected the glory of God; to what do the three last refer?
To our own necessities.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. vi, 33
What is here meant by the word Bread?
Bread being the most common and useful nourishment of the body, is often used in the Scriptures to signify all kinds of necessary food; and it here seems to include every thing we need to preserve life and health.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Gen. iii, 19.